Friday, July 20, 2018

West Ham’s woes could get worse at Old Trafford

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 26 Nov 2016

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic will know his side face a challenge improving their fortunes at Manchester United on Sunday

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic will know his side face a challenge improving their fortunes at Manchester United on Sunday

West Ham are enduring a nightmare campaign and their season could get worse on Sunday afternoon as the Hammers visit Manchester United.

The home side have not been in sparkling form themselves. However, the Red Devils performances have improved greatly recently.

In their last outing, United coasted to a 4-0 victory over Dutch side Feyenoord in the Europa League at Old Trafford.

The performance was another encouraging display, after a decent outing in their last Premier League outing a 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Old Trafford.

The momentum is building for United

Manchester United have enjoyed a mixed start to life under Jose Mourinho. The Red Devils recent performances have been far improved with two wins in their last three games in all competitions. That would have been three straight wins if it was not for Olivier Giroud’s late headed goal last time out in the Premier League.

It seems the team are starting to build a bit of momentum. The confidence gained from winning runs seems to have returned slightly in recent games. The return from suspension of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the United squad could be a key to a home win in this one.

The Swedish striker had struggled for goals until his last appearance against Swansea when he bagged himself a brace. He also picked up his fifth booking of the campaign. He missed the draw with Arsenal and then returned to the starting line-up for Thursday’s Europa League game.

The veteran striker will be looking to once again make his mark on his return to action in the English top-flight. The former PSG star will fancy his chances of finding the net, as only Hull have conceded more goals this season than West Ham in the top-flight.

West Ham are travel-sick

The Hammers are 17th in the table and just one point above the drop zone. It’s a far cry from last season and threatening to finish in the top-six of the league. One of the Hammers major problems has been their away form in the top-flight.

One win from their last seven away games in the top-flight tells a tale of woe for the Irons on their travels. Not only are Slaven Bilic’s team not winning they are not even drawing, as five of those aforementioned seven games have seen the Londoners defeated.

Bilic’s side have kept just two clean sheets in their last 16 away games in the Premier League. The pattern of conceding too many goals from last season has continued into this campaign. However, the Hammers are not scoring enough goals to negate their lack of defensive solidity.

The Irons travel to Old Trafford, having won just five of their 40 games at United in the Premier League. On paper, it seems unlikely that win number six will be coming their way this weekend.

United can kick-start their campaign

Manchester United are the favourites to win this game at odds of 9/20. The Red Devils have lost just once in their last 14 home games in the top-flight. However, three straight home league draws have rather halted their rise up the table.

At the moment Jose Mourinho’s men are sixth in the table, six points behind fourth-place Arsenal. The Portuguese boss is under pressure for his team to start producing results after a summer of recruiting high-profile players.

It looks unlikely that United are going to challenge for the title. A challenge for the Champions League spots looks like their best hope this season. However, Mourinho’s side have a stiff competition for even a top-four spot.

United’s recent performances will have been more encouraging for the United staff, fans and hierarchy. However, the Red Devils need to start producing the wins in the league to go with the decent performances.

West Ham look like good opponents for United to face this weekend. A team who struggle to keep clean sheets and score goals. If United are serious about finishing in the top-four then these are the sort of games they need to win and I believe they will win.

Will Manchester United add to West Ham’s woes on Sunday?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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